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Development of School Accountability System

Published: 7/16/2020 4:01 PM

Senate Bill 158 (2020)

Senate Bill 158 (2020) made substantial changes to Kentucky’s statewide school accountability system. The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is reviewing the Bill and planning for its implementation.

The Office of Assessment and Accountability (OAA) will communicate accountability system changes and updates as specifics are determined. All modifications made to the assessment and accountability system must be approved by the U.S. Department of Education through our ESSA Consolidated State Plan.

​2018-2019 School Accountability System

Kentucky’s school accountability system reported for the 2018-2019 school year was grounded in over two years of outreach and engagement efforts with thousands of Kentuckians, including educators at all levels, families, businesses, education partners, policymakers and communities. In developing the system, we challenged our residents to think boldly and innovate to take our system of public education in Kentucky to the next level.

Kentuckians brought forth a shared vision of K-12 public education in our state that each and every student is empowered and equipped with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to pursue a successful future. It is that vision, the values of equity, achievement and integrity, and the following ideals upon which this multi-dimensional system was based. 

  • Our children, all children, must be at the heart of the system. 
  • A well-rounded education is important and necessary. 
  • All subjects, both tested and non-tested, need to be valued. 
  • Access and opportunity for students are critical. 
  • An emphasis on teaching is needed. 
  • Collaboration instead of competition among schools and districts needs to be the focus.

Our accountability system aligned to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), had students at its center—ensuring that they were well-rounded, transition ready, and prepared with the knowledge, skills, and essential dispositions to successfully pursue the pathway of their choice after graduating from high school. The indicators of the multi-dimensional system worked together to support several important concepts that promoted a valuable educational experience for all Kentucky’s students. The goals of the system included,

  • Stimulate higher levels of student learning and achievement;
  • Reduce achievement gaps and ensure equity;
  • Emphasize opportunity and access for students to receive a quality education;
  • Build a culture of high expectations and continuous improvement; and
  • Communicate a clear and honest understanding of the strengths and opportunities for improvement in Kentucky’s schools and districts.

Rather than relying just on traditional measures of only test scores, the innovative system incorporated more than test scores. The indicators included Proficiency, Separate Academic Indicator, Growth, Transition Readiness, Quality of School Climate and Safety (not implemented until 2019-2020) and Graduation Rate that combined to provide an overall accountability score. 

A summary of the overall system is available in the 2019 Accountability at a Glance document.

Advisory Groups 

Many shareholders were involved in the development of the accountability system driven by the guidance of advisory groups comprised of educators, citizens, legislators, testing and measurement experts, and legislative staff.

National Technical Advisory Panel on Assessment and Accountability (NTAPAA)

Rhonda Sims
Office of Assessment and Accountability
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-2256 Ext 4751
Fax (502) 564-7749

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